Do I Make You Porny? How Hardcore Porn is Ruining Sex

Joanna Psaros

20 November 2021

What’s hardcore porn doing to your sex life?

It’s a boring Friday night. Your friends are all busy, and you haven’t had a date since O.J was the great American hope.   

Do you:

  1. Have an early night. 
  2. Put on Netflix; or,
  3. Light some candles, pour a whisky, and treat yourself to some filthy, filthy videos. 

Now answer honestly this time. 

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. A reported 78.1 million people log on to PornHub a day– more than the population of the United Kingdom, and the global porn industry is estimated to be worth $97 billion; a staggering figure that doesn’t even account for piracy or the increasing amount of free porn available.  

But is it time we logged off and took our hand from our pants? For anyone who cares about having a healthy sex life the answer may be yes, with evidence suggesting that by watching people fuck, we’re really fucking ourselves. 

The problem is that our brains aren’t really wired to compute the kind of pornographic content available today. While masturbation itself is totally natural and has a whole host of physical and mental benefits such as stress relief and even the reduced risk of prostate cancer, these only come (or should we say, cum) when we get off on our imagination. Reliance on visual stimulation can actually cause psychologic harm with the consequences of indulging in a RedTube session lasting long after that post-orgasm glow. 

Firstly, porn can seriously fuck with your real-world sex life due to the desensitisation it causes. With regular exposure to the perfect bodies, oversized bits, and hardcore scenarios that dominate internet pornography we start to normalise them, which can, for men in particular, lead to difficulty experiencing arousal at ordinary bodies and vanilla sex. There’s even a name for it; “porn-induced erectile disfunction” (aka marshmallow dick). 

Constant porn viewers don’t only have worse sex, but less of it (though admittedly that’s a chicken and egg scenario). This replacement of sex with porn is pretty sad for a number of reasons, but perhaps the most significant and overlooked is that we forgo the intimacy and human connection of real-life encounters. And connection is something we could all use more of. 

Women are also affected by porn-induced erectile dysfunction, if indirectly. Think about it; men who are no longer excited by vanilla, vaginal intercourse are way more likely to initiate more, let say, extreme activities such as choking, group sex, bondage, and anal sex (which an estimated 40% of the population have tried). 

I hasten to add that there is nothing inherently wrong with any of those activities, which can form part of a healthy and mutually enjoyable sex life. But the key words is “mutual.” And that’s something that the consumption of porn can make men a little hazy on. 

 That’s because hardcore porn, as a rule, is not big on enthusiastic consent. The majority (though not all) is created with men in mind, and as such the focus is largely on male pleasure. At its extreme, this can involve the degradation of women (a disturbing subgenre of porn features racist abuse of women during sex), or even depictions of rape. This is not at all to suggest that people who watch this material are more likely to actually act on these fantasies (rare studies on this topic suggest this is not the case). But its existence does imply that a significant amount of hardcore porn appeals to and encourages men’s objectification of women. And this hurts men too.  

The star is an outspoken critic of rape culture

Actor Terry Cruise knows exactly what this is like, having suffered from a serious porn addiction (yes, it is a real thing). 

“It changes the way you think about people,” Crew explained

“People become objects, people become body parts, people become things to be used rather than people to be loved. Every time I watched it I was walled off. It’s like another brick that came between me and my wife.”

This dehumanisation that porn seeds is disturbing on a number of levels. But more than that; it’s boring. 

It shouldn’t come as a shock that women have more to offer than their orifices. And men are not just animalistic jizz fountains. Sex is way more complex and interesting than the contortion of body parts, but mainstream pornography rarely goes so deep (in a manner of speaking). 

In an unlikely plot twist, it’s the Catholic church that says it best. 

“The problem with pornography is not that it shows too much of the person,” Pope John Paul II is quoted as saying

“But that it shows too little.”

Amen to that.   


Girls’ Locker Room Talk: Art, articles and entertainment for women (and everyone else)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: